Monday, January 16, 2012

Stone Songs and Artichoke Hearts

Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento
(Be sure to check Medusa's Facebook page for 
more of Michelle's photos of last Saturday's
Writer's Brush event at Sac. Poetry Center)

(a fantasy)
—Taylor Graham

Papa Bach is scarce about the house,
overburdened as it is with death
and childbirth. Ironies of fathering

so many diapered geniuses, some
already gone too young;
it could make a musician nervous.

Under stained glass he pumps
at the organ, chord on polyphonic
chord, the bellows swelling intricate

and silken, a hot-air balloon of woven
color. The vaulted ceiling gapes.
J.S. climbs aboard; on contrapuntal

easterlies he rises over rooftops,
farmland, rivers, along the coast, as
Anima mea drifts down, mist upon sea,

its endless segue of shore
into breakers, Gloria Patri sounding
its way to the soundless deeps.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

They placed stone atop stone,
each row lighter than the one below,
each course reaching out of earth
into sky, which they called the breath
of angels, light defining space.

The walls of stone leaned in, one
toward another, till at last
they almost touched, rock wishing
to be lace, harp, or lily, longing
that arched and spired like music.

Stones became praying hands
to shelter candle-flame,
till plainsong couldn't be
contained, but curved on itself,
echoing and dancing

in lines and strands of tone
beyond unraveling or exegesis,
but rose like earth into sky;
voice of clay, voice of stone,
dust on wind.


—Rhony Bhopla, Sacramento

And then the determined mouse
an eyelash on a toothpick
the rubber of tiny erasings
on a large paper clip
a cotton swab up ten steps
to a ring-tone,
and then
swam in the cat’s water bowl.


—Caschwa, Sacramento

The lowly worker
Played the Lottery
And won!
But not the lottery

His prize was
Newfound knowledge
Of how to prosper
He has yet to collect it

It is right there
Waiting at the corner
Of Getouttamy Way
And Dark Alley

Bring your own light
Bring your own map
Bring your own police
It’s that kind of place

Clinging tightly to mystery
Like the Bermuda Triangle,
Writer’s block,
The Black Hole of space

You can’t win
If you don’t play
You won’t win
If all you do is play

Fate sets its own course
Defying human logic
Spearheading rebellion
Changing your lucky number



Can’t use real names
Or ruffle the feathers of
People who own lots of
Real, commercial, residential,
Intellectual, or physical property

They will bring out the big guns
And sue your ass off
Throw you in jail
Toss your future in the garbage

But we still have our precious
Right to vote which lets us
Nominate electors who will
Choose the “right” people
To steer our government, our thinking

We must trust these chosen ones
And everything they say
It is for your better interests
You know, the ones they picked
To honor a higher power



Feet tangled in the sheets
Head buried in the pillow
Snooze button moot
It is Saturday

The telephone rings
It is a wrong number
Or the right number
At the wrong time

I am not going to honor it
With a reasoned response
Unless you find logic
Coded in my snoring

Yes breakfast will cook itself
While the checkbook balances
All household chores are delegated
To entities outside Dreamland

Clear skies, rays of sunlight
Pierce through the blinds
A rainbow of eyelid colors
I’m being pulled over

For sleeping too fast
Failing to yield to the inevitable
Shock of waking up
Now it’s Sunday…


—Michael Cluff, Corona, CA

The penny you picked up
was not meant for
your pinched ways.

Leave it for me,
the homeless
sidewalk sitter——

I will go on
waiting a long time
for another penny

Just so I can,
if you
are willing to

put my
two cents


—Michael Cluff

Mr. Lambeau
teaches pre-school
in Sedco Hills
but works undercover
on the weekend
and holidays.

His services
amongst the maven
and matron sets
are quite exhaustive.


Today's LittleNip: 

He brought artichokes
picked at the height of ripeness
and left with her heart.

—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento



Canada Geese in McKinley Park, Sacramento
—Photo by Michelle Kunert